WQ92478 (e) Tabled on 16/04/2024

What action will the Welsh Government take in light of the responses to the myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome interim delivery plan, specifically the request from patients for a national strategy to address past stigma and lack of training for professionals?

Answered by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care | Answered on 23/04/2024

Improvements to services for people with ME/CFS in Wales are being driven via our Adferiad (Recovery) programme, which was initially set up to support people with Long Covid.

The My Full Reality interim delivery plan about myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue (ME/CFS) was a UK Government initiative. Together with officials from the other devolved governments, we maintained a watching brief about the development of the plan.

Information about the UK Government consultation on the interim delivery plan was circulated in Wales to encourage and enable people, clinicians, and other interested stakeholders to contribute. We are keen to take any learning from the feedback provided but, to date, we have yet to receive the country-specific feedback from the consultation from the UK Government. We have received a response from the Welsh Association of ME & CFS (WAMES), which has been shared with Adferiad-funded service leads in each health boards.

In addition to the £10m initially invested to establish Adferiad-funded services in every health board, £8.3m of recurrent funding has been allocated from March 2023 onwards. I have set out my expectation for this to be used to widen access to people with other long-term conditions whose rehabilitation and recovery needs are similar to people with Long Covid, including people with ME/CFS, and to continue to develop and expand community-focused, multi-disciplinary rehabilitation services, supported by referral pathways into secondary care for those who need it.

All health boards are developing needs-led services that will target recovery and rehabilitation needs focusing on proactive care, self-management, and supported self-management with extensive input from a broad multidisciplinary team. Co-production is an essential factor in service development, and I expect health boards to engage with people with lived experience in this process.